Miriam Rafferty

Miriam Rafferty PT, DPT, PhD

Director of Implementation Science, Research Scientist II
Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medical Social Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

About Me

Dr. Miriam Rafferty is the Director of Implementation Science and a Research Scientist at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. She is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Psychiatry & Behavioral Science. Dr. Rafferty also is an active physical therapist clinician specializing in neurologic physical therapy, particularly for people with Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Rafferty’s research focuses on health services delivery models for people with Parkinson’s disease, particularly proactive delivery models. She also uses implementation science methodology to study the implementation of evidence-based practices and novel technologies into real-world rehabilitation settings.


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

355 E Erie St

Chicago, IL 60611

Education & Training



    1999 - 2003
    BA Biology, Saint Mary's College of Maryland
    2003 - 2006
    Doctor of Physical Therapy, Washington University in St. Louis
    2010 - 2015
    PhD Neuroscience, University of Illinois at Chicago


    2015 - 2018
    Postdoctoral Fellowship n Health Services and Outcomes Research and Implementation Science, Northwestern University

Recent Publications

Regular Exercise, Quality of Life, and Mobility in Parkinson's Disease: A Longitudinal Analysis of National Parkinson Foundation Quality Improvement Initiative Data.
Rafferty MR, Schmidt PN, Luo ST, Li K, Marras C, Davis TL, Guttman M, Cubillos F, Simuni T, all NPF-QII Investigators
Journal of Parkinson's disease
doi: 10.3233/JPD-160912
Commentary on "A Tandem Cycling Program: Feasibility and Physical Performance Outcomes in People With Parkinson Disease".
Rafferty MR, Corcos DM
Journal of neurologic physical therapy : JNPT
doi: 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000144
Two-year exercise program improves physical function in Parkinson's disease: the PRET-PD randomized clinical trial.
Prodoehl J, Rafferty MR, David FJ, Poon C, Vaillancourt DE, Comella CL, Leurgans SE, Kohrt WM, Corcos DM, Robichaud JA
Neurorehabilitation and neural repair
doi: 10.1177/1545968314539732

Honors & Awards

  • Golden Synapse Award of the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy
    Best Article of 2017
    , 2018
  • Illinois Physical Therapy Association Physical Therapist of the Year
  • Baskin Award for Excellence in Research: Clinician/Clinical Researcher
    From the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 2010

Professional Affiliations

  • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
    Assistant Professor Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
    Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
  • Parkinson's Foundation
    Parkinson's Outcome Project Steering Committee Member

Research Interests

  • Implementation Science
  • Knowledge Translation
  • Physical Therapy
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Exercise


  • Processes to Increase Exercise Adherence and Sustainment in Parkinson's Disease
    Parkinson's Foundation
    , 2018 - 2019
  • "Development and Implementation of a Feasible
    Parkinson's Foundation
    , 2018 - 2019
  • knowledge translation projects...vestibular rehabilitation
    American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
    , 2018 - 2019
  • Implementation, spread, and sustainment of Physical Therapy for Mild Parkinson’s Disease through a Regional System of Care
    American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
    , 2018 - 2019

Knowledge Translation: Exercise and Activity for Symptom Management (KTEAM)

We research implementation science methodology to study best ways to translate findings of exercise research studies into the real-world clinical & community.

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